O without the team orders at Mercedes and without Max Verstappen's brilliant catch-up race would have gone down in the history books as a boring race at the GP Russia. So the 16th race of the 2018 Formula 1 year will be remembered.
According to Mercedes, there were scenarios under which Pole man Valtteri Bottas could have won. If the Mercedes had simply escaped the red pursuers, for example. But that was not the case. And when the pit strategy also failed, Vettel slipped past Hamilton, and his rear tires were blistering after successfully retaking second place, the alarm bells rang at Mercedes.m eighth win of the season. It was his third in Russia after 2014 and 2015. For the 70th time in his career, Hamilton climbed the top step of the podium. And yet there was no joy given the course of the race. Bottas carried it with composure. Like Sebastian Vettel his third place.
Max Verstappen pulled off the biggest show in the field. On Sunday morning, Red Bull had baked him a cake for his 21st birthday. Did the sugar shock particularly stimulate him? Probably not. Certainly Mad Max plowed past his opponents with such ease as if his car were working 200 horsepower more under the hood. In the meantime he even led. 'A Red Bull is ahead?', Nico Hulkenberg radioed in disbelief. Russia's President Vladimir Putin missed the overtaking show. He only appeared on the 42nd race lap.
You can find the pictures from the GP Russia 2018 in our slideshow.